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Hurray! Hurray! For 'Double Trouble in Walla Walla'

Kids will have a rootin'-tootin' good time reading the helter-skelter chit-chat that floods the air in this super-duper new book from Millbrook Press!

Double Trouble Book Cover

Two cheers for Double Trouble in Walla Walla!!

So why not THREE cheers? If that isn't clear already, soon it will be!

"It was an ordinary Monday morning in Walla Walla until Lulu walked up to her English teacher's desk," begins the setup for a unique story of great fun. "'Mrs. Bell. I feel like a nit-wit. My homework is all higgledy-pigggledy. Last night it was in tip-top shape, but now it's a big mish-mash.'"

With those few words, Lulu's itsy-bitsy problem turns into a topsy-turvy tale that spins out of control. Soon Lulu has Mrs. Bell, the principal, and the school nurse talking jibber-jabber. The unrelenting cuckoo chit-chat continues until -- finally -- the school nurse has an idea that might bring the blah-blah under control. And so goes the story. Yada, yada, yada....

This new book by Andrew Clements should come with a smile guarantee! Kids will howl at the frustrated adults and the ridiculous language. Truly, Walla Walla is more fun that a week's worth of Hew-Haw reruns!

Adding to the fun are the super-duper illustrations of Salvatore Murdocca. He captures the frantic and frustrating situation in all its humor. He's created four delightful characters, each with some standout feature to complement this wildly idiosyncratic story! Mrs. Bell's hairdo propels her into the mayhem. The nurse's spectacles would make Dame Edith jealous! And the nutty-professorish principal, Mr. Thomas, is stumped -- finally faced with a problem he's unable to explain- or solve-away!

Millbrook Press might have been wise to add a warning to Double Trouble in Walla Walla. Reading aloud this tale is sure to provoke similar "trouble" in the classroom. But a wise teacher can turn that talk into valuable follow-up activities that'll spice up any hum-drum day! Teachers might invite students to

  • write their own creative sing-song chit-chat stories!
  • talk about quotation marks and how they're used to identify a person's yak-yak!
  • sort out the phrases that rhyme (such as herky-jerky, handy-dandy and nitty-gritty) from those that don't (wishy-washy, flim-flam, and howdy-doody)!
  • identify repetitive phrases in the story that are used as nouns ("What's all the hubbub?"), verbs ("If you chit-chat with the big-wig..."), and adjectives ("Enough of this phoney-baloney hocus-pocus!").

And that's just the tip-top of the iceberg!

For a rootin'-tootin', slam-bam, wowie-zowie time in any grade, grab hold of Double Trouble in Walla Walla!

If your local bookstore doesn't have a copy of Double Trouble in Walla Walla, ask your bookseller to order one for you chop-chop! The book (hardcover) is also available from Millbrook Press, 2 Old New Milford Road, Brookfield, CT 06804. Toll-free phone number: (800)-462-4703.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1997 Education World